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has been said, seems too plain and evident, to need any further proof. Therefore,

4. What has been said may serve to determine these following things, concerning the nature of justifying faith.

1. In general, it implies an hearty approbation of the law, and an hearty acquiescence in the Gospel ; as being suited to honour God, and discountenance sin. And therefore, more particularly,

2. It implies a conviction, and some realizing sense of the infinite greatness and glory of God; as also a supreme love to God, and regard to his honour. For otherwise, we can never approve the law from the heart; nor will it ever appear beautiful, or agreeable, that God's honour is so much consulted and set by both in the law and Gospel.

3. It implies regeneration. Or, that a new spiritual divine nature, taste, and relish, is communicated to us from God. For there is no principle in unrenewed nature, from which a man may have such a supreme regard to God and his honour, as from the heart to approve the law, in requiring sinless perfection on pain of eternal damnation. The law never appeared glorious to an unregenerate heart. But every unregenerate heart is at enmity against it. Rom. viii. 7.

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A true saint, yea, the most holy man on earth, according to law and strict justice, deserves damnation as much, yea, more than he did at his first conversion, considered merely as in himself. Not that he is at present so bad a man once he was. No, by no means. But because his present goodness makes no amends for any of his sins committed before conversion, or since. So that if he was to be dealt with according to law strictly, without any relation to Christ, he must be accountable for all his sins before conversion, and for all sins since con. version. And the sins of a true convert deserve damnation, as well as the sins of the unconverted. And so, according to law, considered merely as in himself, he runs daily deeper into debt, and so stands in still greater need of Christ and free grace. For that popish notion, that the goodness of a saint makes some amends in the sight of God for his sins, is inconsistent both with the law and with the Gospel. For then a saint might possibly be so good, as to make full amends for all his sins; and so stand in no need of Christ. Yes, the church of Rome think, upon this same hypothesis, that some saints are so good as not only to make full amends to God for their own sins, but that, over and above, they bave some to spare for their poor neighbours, who ave not enough for them selves. And it is well if the hearts of some protestants are not tinged with this Popish doctrine.

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4. It implies a conviction, and some realizing sense of the infinite evil of sin, as it is against a God of infinite glory. For otherwise it cannot appear as an agreeable, amiable thing in God to punish it with eternal damnation. And so the law cannot be really approved of and liked.

5. It implies true repentance; in that we are thus heartily turned against sin to God, to be on his side, to approve and justify his law, and stand for his honour. For now the rebel is become, and has the heart of a loyal subject. And so,

6. It implies a principle of new obedience. Yea,

7. It implies the seeds of every moral virtue, and every Christian grace. For they are comprised in a bearty approbation of the law, and acquiescence in the Gospel. And so,

8. It implies, virtually a preparedness of heart, to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ, and be true to him at all adventures. A character absolutely essential to every true Christian. Luke xiv. 25-33. And so, beyond all dispute,

9. Justifying faith is an HOLY ACT. And yet,

10. It implies, that we have no dependence, no, not the least, on any goodness, of any kind which is inherent in us, to recommend us to God's favour and acceptance. For,

11. It implies that we see and feel, that eternal damnation is, at that moment our proper due, according to law and reason, according to strict and impartial justice. Yea,

12. It implies that we are so far from a disposition to think hard of God, and complain of his law as too severe, that, on the contrary, we are disposed to think well of God, and to think the law to be just what it should be, quite right, altogether right, just, and fair. Yea,

13. It implies that the law, although a ministration of death, appears to be glorious. For otherwise, it cannot appear fit and beautiful, that the honour of it should be secured, by the blood of the Son of God. And yet, unless this does

appear fit and beautiful, the Gospel-way of life cannot be heartily acquiesced in.

14. And if the law, although a ministration of death, appears to be glorious, as it is suited to honour God and discountenance sin ; the Gospel will appear much more exceed

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ingly glorious : as being wisely calculated, not only to answer these ends, to even better advantage than the law; but also to humble and save the sinner, and glorify grace. And therefore, in the exercise of faith, the Gospel-way of life by free grace through Jesus Christ, will be admired, loved, esteemed, rejoiced in, as being full of the manifold wisdom of God; while we behold how satan is disappointed, God exalted, the law honoured, God's authority established, sin punished, the singer humbled and saved, and grace glorified, all at

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15. Justifying faith, these views and tempers being thus supposed and implied, consists more especially in a cordial compliance with the Gospel-way of life, by trusting in and entirely depending upon Jesus Christ : that Lamb of God, typically slain in daily sacrifices from the foundation of the world ; who in the fulness of time bare our sins in his own body on the tree : died the just for the unjust : being set forth, as the bullock of old, to be a propitiation for sin, that God might be just : and who is now ascended into heaven, to appear as our great high-priest, in the presence of God: and is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him. So the pious Jew, with an humble and broken heart, laid his hands on the head of the bullock, or the goat, which he had presented before the Lord, to die in his room. The consecrated animal was slain, his blood sprinkled, bis carcass burnt, and so atonement was made. Without shedding of blood there was no remission. Even so now we are justified by FAITH IN CHRIST'S BLOOD. i. e. by an entire trust, dependance, reliance on the atonement, merits, and mediation of Christ, for pardon and acceptance in the sight of God, and for eternal life. This FAITH IN CHRIST'S BLOOD, is St. Paul's definition of justifying faith, in Rom. iii. 25.And,

16. It implies a firm belief of the truth of the Gospel For otherwise a sinner so wide awake, would not dare to venture his soul and eternal concerns thus wholly and entirely upon it, without any other dependence. And lastly,

17. It implies a supreme ralue for the favour of God

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above all the world. As this will naturally arise from a sense of his supreme dignity, greatness, and glory.

These things are all so easy to be understood, and so evidently true, from what has been already said, that they need neither further illustration nor further proof.

And thus, from the nature of the law, and of the Gospel ; from the very frame and constitution of these two dispensations, we learn the nature of the preparatory work, and the nature of saving faith. And nothing can be more satisfactory than to see these two things, which lay the foundation for all experimental religion, i. e. for all real religion, thus growing up, as it were, out of the whole bible, not resulting from here and there a detached sentence; but the natural and necessary consequence of both dispensations, jointly viewed : and this joint view set in a divine light, by the great apostle of the Gentiles, before our eyes. And thus, the religion of the heart answers exactly to the bible; as face answers to face in a glass. As it is written, we all beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image *: i. e. beholding the glory of the Lord, as shining in the law; which, although a ministration of death, was glorious : and in the Gospel, which much exceeds in glory, we are changed into the same image, are transformed into an exact resemblance, into a frame of heart that is exactly answerable. This image is begun at conversion, and it increases from glory to glory, by the continual influences of the Spirit of the Lord; who begins, carries on, and completes this glorious renovation.

And from these things, it is evident, that justifying faith is entirely of a different nature from any thing an unregenerate man experiences; who has neither these views, nor these tempers, which are implied in it, and properly belong to its essence. And accordingly, we find that he who saith, he that believeth not shall be damnedy ; saith also, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”.-And par



may now, in the light of all these truths, see as in the light of noon-day, that for a man merely to believe that his

4 Mark xvi. 16. z John iii. 3.

* 2 Cor. ü. 18.

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sins are parduned, and that God loves him, has in it nothing of the nature of justifying faith; but is altogether a different thing

1. Justifying faith is a grace, it is an holy act. But there is nothing of the nature of holiness, merely in believing my sins are forgiven. Yea, many a graceless sinner believes so.

2. Justifying faith is a saving grace. But salvation is no where promised to a man's firmly believing his sins are forgiven.

3. Justifying faith is wrought, and can be wrought in the heart by none but the Spirit of God. But this belief may be the effect of a man's own presumption, or of the devil's delusion.

4. Justifying faith implies all the seeds of holiness in it, and so naturally lays a foundation for a holy life. But this belief, as there is no holiness in it, so it may naturally lay a foundation for a wicked life ; as it tends to embolden a graceless heart in sin.

5. Justifying faith implies regeneration, and cannot exist without it. But this belief may be without it. There is no necessity of regeneration in order to its existence.

6. Justifying faith implies a thorough conviction of sin. But a thorough conviction of sin would be a hinderance to this faith. If they saw how bad they were, they would not be so apt to believe their sins forgiven. Yea, thorough conviction would effectually prevent this belief, and keep them from this delusion, and show them their need of Christ indeed. Sudden terrors, without any deep conviction, are preparation enough for this belief. Yea, the Moravians, who think this belief true faith, are against any convictions, or terrors, as doing more hurt than good.

7. Justifying faith supposes, that eternal damnation is seen to be justly due; nor can there be an act of faith without it. But deluded sinners may be strong in this belief, when quite secure in sin, and at the greatest remove from a sense of their desert of damnation.

8. Justifying faith supposes, that the law is approved of, and loved. But this belief may be in an Antinomian heart, that bates the law.

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